How to Safely Use and Store Pool Chemicals

When you have a backyard pool, there’s a certain amount of maintenance involved and part of that maintenance involves using pool chemicals to keep the water clean. The following outlines important guidelines for how to safely use and store pool chemicals. When in doubt, always seek the advice of your pool supply retailer.

Dangerous Combinations

Inorganic and organic chlorinating agents are not compatible with each other. Never use the same scoop or pail for both types of chemicals without thoroughly cleaning the scoop or pail in between. Mixing or cross-contamination of these chemicals can create an explosive mixture.

Swimming pool chemicals can also be oxidizers that can cause a fire when they come in contact with burnable materials. Some of these pool chemicals can also be corrosive and can damage human tissue and metals. The extent of the damage depends on the type of corrosive agent and how concentrated it is. Damage can begin the instant it touches the skin, eyes, respiratory tract or the digestive tract.

Safe Handling

The following is a list of do’s and don’ts for the safe handling of pool chemicals.


  • Keep all chemicals out of the reach of children and pets
  • Keep containers closed when not in useRead and follow instructions carefully. Consult your pool chemical supplier for help if there is anything you don’t understandUse separate clean metal or plastic measuring cups for each chemical (do not use wood scoops)
  • Wear the appropriate protective equipment including goggles, gloves and footwearUse or handle chemicals only in well-ventilated areasProtect chemicals from moisture and water as even putting a wet scoop back into the pail could cause a reaction
  • Always add the chemical to the pool water, not the water to the chemical, unless instructed otherwise on the container label
  • Thoroughly wash your hands after handling any chemical

Do Not

  • Use the contents of unlabeled containers
  • Mix different chemicals together
  • Put spilled chemicals back into the container
  • Touch undiluted chemicals with your handsSmoke when handling chemicals
  • Expose chemicals to heat or flame
  • If a fire does break out, don’t use a “dry chemical” fire extinguisher. Instead, use large amounts of water. If you can’t get the fire under control right away, leave the area and call the fire department.

Safe Storage of Pool Chemicals

  • Follow these tips for safely storing pool chemicals.
  • Store chemicals in a cool, dry place away from sunlight
  • Ensure that they are inaccessible to children and pets
  • Store chemicals in their original containers
  • Storage area must be well-ventilated as vapours could build up inside the containers in high temperatures. Nose and throat irritation or more serious respiratory problems could result from inhaled vapours
  • Oxidizers will release chlorine gas if they come in contact with acids so be sure to keep oxidizers and acids in separate storage areas
  • Don’t store liquids above powders or solids and don’t stack containers
  • Don’t store chemicals or other materials above your head
  • Gasoline, fertilizers, herbicides, grease, paints, tile cleaners, turpentine or other flammable materials must be stored away from pool chemicals
  • Wash out empty containers and dispose of them. Do not reuse

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